Kimi Raikkonen had a satisfying weekend in Australia, getting a podium finish for himself for the first time since 2013, when he had won the Australian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen had started the Grand Prix from the front row after he ended qualifying as the second fastest driver, behind just Lewis Hamilton and ahead of his teammate Sebastian Vettel.
Raikkonen though couldn’t maintain his 2nd spot, despite not being overtaken throughout race day, as Vettel took advantage of the VSC to pip both Hamilton and Raikkonen towards winning the Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel and the Ferrari think tank worked brilliantly to strategise and take advantage of the VSC to overtake Hamilton, who had taken his pit stop a bit earlier.
Kimi had taken his pit stop on lap 19 and Hamilton soon followed, but Vettel remained on track and just as both Kimi and Lewis got done with their pit stops, Grosjean car suffered a failure on track, bringing about the VSC, which then led to the quick change in strategy by Ferrari.
However, Kimi wasn’t quite kept in the loop.
“I am not surprised by the strategy. The only thing that was surprising, because we obviously speak about these things on the radio, was that they didn’t let me know what he was doing.
“Obviously we talk before the race, there are hundreds of options we can do, and that was his best option because there was no threat from behind and he could take a chance because had nothing else to lose from that point – he was safe into 3rd place. It worked out well for him, so I wasn’t surprised by what they did, I was surprised that at one point I didn’t know it exactly.” Kimi said.
Raikkonen spoke about how he tried to pressure Hamilton early on in the race but then was resigned to the fact that any kind of overtaking would only be possible through a ‘pit stop strategy’.
“I think [the race] was OK. We didn’t have the most luck but what can you do?” Raikkonen said.
“Luckily it was Seb who got the luck, it was, at least, our team. I had decent speed all day long, but it’s difficult to pass. I had a go at Lewis in the second corner but couldn’t pass, so after that I just tried to follow him and try something in the pit stop. In the end it didn’t work out for us.” he added.
However, Kimi was happy with the entire weekend in Australia and satisfied with how the car behaved.
“In the end we got some pressure but managed to hold on to 3rd place. Red Bull had fresher tyres but we managed to keep them behind, in the end 3rd place is an OK start. I’ve been happy with the car and we take it from here.” Raikkonen concluded.